In case you missed it, and let’s face it you probably did, the Oculus Rift officially launched yesterday, and it’’ll be joined by the HTC Vive next week. Jamming away on the latest VR tech needs the appropriate support though, and both AMD and Nvidia have obliged with their latest driver updates.
Should you have an AMD or Nvidia graphics card, which is presumably just about everyone, then you can head over to your chosen manufacturer’s site and grab the VR-ready Crimson 16.3.2 or GeForce 364.72 drivers respectively. AMD’s driver also includes support for the new most powerful graphics card in the world - the Radeon Pro Duo.
There’s a couple of things to take into account for AMD’s Radeon Crimson Edition 16.3.2 drivers then. Firstly the aforementioned VR support. If you’re picking up a VR headset, AMD recommend this as offering the best performance. Secondly there’s LiquidVR technology, which is designs for devs and other creative types to improve VRE performance through the use of Asynchronous Shaders, multi-GPU and Quick Response Queue.
Nvidia’s efforts meanwhile are targeted exclusively at its latest Maxwell GPU powered graphics cards. As per the recommended specs for both the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift, you’ll be needing a GTX 970 as a minimum. To help drive this is full GameWorks VR support, which Nvidia reckon offers faster performance, lower latency and better compatibility.
From the sound of things recently AMD looks to have the upper hand in the VR market. AMD claimed 83% of PCs using VR are powered by Radeon graphics cards and Nvidia has said nothing to dispute this. We’ll have to see over the coming months just how these respective graphics giants perform.